Mobile World Congress 2014 dominates this week’s Techno Briefs. A host of new mobiles and concepts were unveiled and we have Fernando Alvarez our Capgemini Mobile Solutions lead commenting on the BBC. Also read about Google getting into 3D imaging, and the €256 million drop on Dropbox.
Mobile World Congress 2014 showcased what’s next
This year’s industry-defining event, Mobile World Congress, was once again hosted in the mobile world capital Barcelona. Attended by more than 85,000 visitors from over 200 countries who were treated to a wealth of learning and networking opportunities; product showcases and announcements; inspiration and innovation.
Besides a host of smart phones and accessories revealed at the event, also discussed was the idea to get people in the developing world getting online and starting using smartphones instead of feature phones. Watch Fernando Alvarez’s interview on BBC discussing the business angle to a €18 smartphone.
But now here’s a list of the hottest phones at the Mobile World Congress:
Samsung Gear Fit
Samsung Gear Fit wristwatches, took people by surprise. The Gear Fit is probably the best smartwatch out and sticks to one main purpose: notifications within fitness activity. Its beautiful curved 1.8-inch screen is slim and elongated rather than squarish. That means that it looks good, a claim that few other smartwatches can really say with any authority.
This is an innovative smartphone has a normal 4.3-inch Android touchscreen on one side and an 'e-ink' screen -- similar to that on a Kindle or e-reader -- on the other. The idea is that you can switch your focus to the e-ink side when you want to do low-power activities, such as reading. It saves a lot of energy, allowing you to extend the device's battery life by a factor of five.
The Nokia XL is a five-megapixel touchscreen smartphone and although it is only an Android-compatible phone (with limited access to Android apps), it still costs just €110. That's something worth looking at.
The Blackphone is an Android smartphone that has been tooled to allow you lock down your phone's tech-sharing defaults when you're out and about. That means you have much more control over what you want the world to know about your whereabouts and activities. If you want, it still gives you full access to apps and social networking (which negates much of its purpose). But the €475 smartphone is a timely intervention for those who are genuinely worried about big brother.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 was supposed to be the big story of Mobile World Congress and is a fairly impressive device, but doesn't have a single particular 'wow' factor that has anyone swooning. It is slightly bigger (5.1 inches) than the S4, has a fingerprint reader, a hear-rate monitor, is waterproof and has more power (2.5Ghz quadcore chip, 3GB Ram) than its predecessor. Otherwise, it looks and feels almost exactly the same.
In other news from the Mobile World Congress Wacom's WILL said they will make it easier to capture handwriting or sketches, share them and recreate them on other platforms. The Japanese company plans to offer WILL SDKs (software development kits) for capturing and rendering the file formats for major operating systems including iOS, Android, OS X and Windows -- and even for Web browsers.
Google into 3D imaging
Google is making an increased push into the 3D imaging sphere with the announcement of its Project Tango technology. The 3D-imaging technology that lets a smartphone understand and map its physical environment has developers' minds racing. The possibilities aren't in the thousands or millions.
Investors Drop €256 million on Dropbox
Dropbox just got a big injection of confidence from investors who pumped an estimated €256 million million into the company. How it decides to use those funds could be critical to its competitive position in a space that's becoming crowded with heavy hitters like Microsoft and Google, as well as other pure-plays like Box.